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Author Topic: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)  (Read 3840 times)

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Offline Zakharra

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2011, 12:11:17 PM »
 The problem I see is that it wouldn't be considered a one time thing. If the government did it once, why not again? After all, the people who have the loans need the help.  It seems like to me that the government would be giving permission for people to take out bad loans and would be guaranteeing that it would cover them if they have a problem.

 Housing/car loans, you enters those in good faith (Mostly. I know there are crooked loan providers, but  the majority of loans and loan providers would be  on the up and up.), the same with  most other loans I assume. The price of student loans (heard on the radio that is one of the demands of the Occupy (your favorite street/city) movement) seems a bit different. Their cost is more or less associated with the price collages and universities that charge for an education, and that price rises every year. Why are they never pounded like companies are when prices rise a lot?

Offline Vekseid

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2011, 10:34:17 PM »
I'm gonna back up a post or so and readdress a few things.

What other standard is there? Well, if you're trying to compare one of our presidents to people who have effectively committed atrocious crimes against humanity, I would start with their actions or what you're doing is as dubious to me as invoking Godwin's Law and becomes purely guilt by association.

Since I'm not making such a comparision, this is not a function of my argument. I used "More in common with" in terms of socioeconomic status. How much money they make. The fact that they meet, in most cases rather regularly. That they deal with many of the same companies and organizations, though the latter is less true of Libya than the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt.

The US hasn't needed to suppress it's own people en mass since the Battle of Blair Mountain. Instead the US does it to other countries. Cuba, the origin of the term 'Banana Republic', Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan.

The US hasn't needed to suppress people by the thousands since the Battle of Blair Mountain. Of course, killing innocents in other countries doesn't count, apparently. Most US presidents have some innocent blood on their hands, from Washington burning innocent villages, to the Trail of Tears, to the Spanish-American War, to the founding of the term 'Banana Republic', to the excessive sanctions on Iraq, and now we have predator drone assassinations where up to thirty innocents dying is 'okay'. If you're going to talk about mass murder, why don't those atrocities count? Because it's 'warfare'?

It's really the same problem. They don't count because you don't know them. You don't know their struggles, their reasons, their loves, their joy and sadness. To you, they are a statistic.

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I am going to assert that their overlapping "social circle" is poor criteria, and criteria that has not come with much evidence on your behalf - no evidence of who is in this social circle and why it's relevant or makes them akin to someone who commits atrocious crimes against humanity. So far, it's been vaguely anecdotal. To make a long story slightly shorter, I'm asking you for evidence that A) this so-called "social circle" exists in some capacity and B) it matters. I'm afraid we're skipping right along to the path of being able to justify comparing damn near anyone to Hitler just because one part of their Venn Diagram overlaps.

Do you think they worry about the same things their citizens do? Do you think they have the same problems?

Here's an interesting challenge. Find me someone in Obama's social circle who has been unemployed and looking for work for more than a year. Or even a month. Then do the same for Mubarak before his ousting. Or the CEO of any major corporation.

They are not, personally, presented with the concerns of their citizenry. That is why it matters. It doesn't make them evil. But even the best of them live in a bubble. For the same reason you don't personally experience the suffering of families when a drone kills thirty people at a funeral.

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Without getting too far into the conspiracy theory of the Bilderberg Group, Bill Gates was an attending member and should also, by proxy, be on par with the same men you're comparing our presidents to, and I'm almost positive Mubarak wouldn't approve of actively pouring the kind of money Bill Gates has into humanitarian efforts and literacy programs.

Don't know what Mubarak thinks. I separate them because Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Elizabeth Warren, etc. have a mathematical understanding of what is wrong with the status quo. They of course pay their people well, but they didn't become the two richest people on the planet (and would have stayed there were it not for their donations) by being idiots. More to the point, they had to employ intelligent people to do their work for them, with rather little in the way of 'peasants' like Walmart.

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If I'm to take this "social circle" talk seriously, then I'd start to assert that Mariah Carey and Beyonce are also closer to Gaddafi than the so-called "American people" (whose attributes you have also not made clear except to insinuate that we all apparently have something in common that is lacking in American presidents and dictators alike) -- and wouldn't you know it, they have a lot of money and cultural influence, as well!

Dunno about those two, but for many celebrities (Chuck Norris comes to mind), yep.

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Not quite sure I get your point with this. Are you making a complaint that the president charges a hefty fee to show up somewhere and so people who are rich/powerful can afford to "build rapport"? I'm pretty sure that world leaders aren't necessarily good buddies just because they happen to meet a handful of times to talk business and maybe have dinner together.

For all I hear about Sarkozy and Chirac, the impression I get is yes, they do form close friendships with many other world leaders, with a few exceptions.

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I guess my point here is that this idea of "social circles" is tenuous and a wildly inconsistent standard. Are we even taking into account with this theory that there are a number of positive influences in the same social circles?

I think you're misunderstanding the purpose of my argument.

Why aren't jobs a priority in this country? It's American's number one request. But that isn't getting heard, somehow.

Why?

They do not personally encounter the problem of joblessness. They don't know homeless people. They don't know people who risk homelessness. The people who know these people aren't a majority of those who make decisions for this country, or other countries.

The problem I see is that it wouldn't be considered a one time thing. If the government did it once, why not again? After all, the people who have the loans need the help.  It seems like to me that the government would be giving permission for people to take out bad loans and would be guaranteeing that it would cover them if they have a problem.

Oh, it's far from an ideal solution. The ideal solution would be to constitutionally set a retroactive definition of usury and bad lending practices, then set up a commission to make sure the banks that engaged in such predatory lending paid for their behavior - annulling the loans entirely, including the value of all payments, foreclosures and repossessions made, and hold the top hundred shareholders personally liable for all debts so incurred.

And this situation will never happen again. Because the problem was with the assholes who lent out the money knowing it would eventually cause an explosion, and knowing - still safely, with a ~20 trillion dollar rescue from the government - that the government would bail them out if they failed. And they did. And nothing was fixed.

The lender should assume all responsibility for determining the character of the borrower. That's how it worked when the system was working, and that's how it should work again.

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Housing/car loans, you enters those in good faith (Mostly. I know there are crooked loan providers, but  the majority of loans and loan providers would be  on the up and up.), the same with  most other loans I assume. The price of student loans (heard on the radio that is one of the demands of the Occupy (your favorite street/city) movement) seems a bit different. Their cost is more or less associated with the price collages and universities that charge for an education, and that price rises every year. Why are they never pounded like companies are when prices rise a lot?

Actually the problem with student loans is that wages have not risen in line with production, while college costs have. So have costs of eating, housing, and other such factors - but wages have not risen with them. Since education is seen as discretionary, and discretionary income actually went negative just before the crash, people think that debts of $50k-$100k are a big deal, when they should not be.

Basically anyone making less than ~$300k a year right now is making less than they would have if the economic policies of the 60s and earlier had remained in place. The median wage in this country is something like $25k a year. Look up the median income in Norway.

Then look up the means. The mean income, in the US, is $100k per year.

People on this forum have gloated about making $60k a year. I know people who have written off more than that without batting an eyelash. Discussing economics with them is interesting - they really don't know the sorts of traps people get into these days.

Threatening people as you are currently doing is hardly civil, I don't see how I'm supposed to have a discussion with someone who's condescending me in the way you are.  I'm done.

Playing the 'staff abuse' card does not win you any points, nor does it magically make your claims of incivility true. If you have an issue with a staff member, you can address it to another staff member. If you are in the right, things will happen. Trieste has reversed my decisions before. Everyone gets a hot head at times, I want to make sure that the best possible result comes of it.

Abusing terminology to that degree, however, is both blatant and premeditated. You had to think that one through. There's no hot-headed excuse, there.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2011, 01:29:06 AM »

Oh, it's far from an ideal solution. The ideal solution would be to constitutionally set a retroactive definition of usury and bad lending practices, then set up a commission to make sure the banks that engaged in such predatory lending paid for their behavior - annulling the loans entirely, including the value of all payments, foreclosures and repossessions made, and hold the top hundred shareholders personally liable for all debts so incurred.

And this situation will never happen again. Because the problem was with the assholes who lent out the money knowing it would eventually cause an explosion, and knowing - still safely, with a ~20 trillion dollar rescue from the government - that the government would bail them out if they failed. And they did. And nothing was fixed.

The lender should assume all responsibility for determining the character of the borrower. That's how it worked when the system was working, and that's how it should work again.

 Part of the problem was the government basically telling the banks that they -had- to make loans to people they knew would have a high chance of defaulting. In that I cannot blame the banks for getting ride of those loans ASAP.   It wasn't a matter of banks being that greedy that they'd take money from anyone, although greed does factor into it, but from governmental regulations forcing banks to make bad loans.

Actually the problem with student loans is that wages have not risen in line with production, while college costs have. So have costs of eating, housing, and other such factors - but wages have not risen with them. Since education is seen as discretionary, and discretionary income actually went negative just before the crash, people think that debts of $50k-$100k are a big deal, when they should not be.

Basically anyone making less than ~$300k a year right now is making less than they would have if the economic policies of the 60s and earlier had remained in place. The median wage in this country is something like $25k a year. Look up the median income in Norway.

Then look up the means. The mean income, in the US, is $100k per year.

People on this forum have gloated about making $60k a year. I know people who have written off more than that without batting an eyelash. Discussing economics with them is interesting - they really don't know the sorts of traps people get into these days.

 Then why do I see in the news, businesses and companies that sell goods and services (oil companies are a big target) are routinely hammered for higher prices and demands that they are too expensive and costly, but much less the same thing being said about student loans? It is more prevalent now than it used to be. I'm seeing more anger at the loans, but aside from just getting more loans, I am seeing next to nothing about why the costs are being raised so high and fast, and why don't the collages and universities find ways to cut the cost.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2011, 01:53:56 AM »
Part of the problem was the government basically telling the banks that they -had- to make loans to people they knew would have a high chance of defaulting. In that I cannot blame the banks for getting ride of those loans ASAP.   It wasn't a matter of banks being that greedy that they'd take money from anyone, although greed does factor into it, but from governmental regulations forcing banks to make bad loans.

Banks are FORCED to make bad loans? Oh no.. they pushed through deregulation which DIMINISHED governmental oversight. With fewer rules on what they could do, and corporate greed looking for ways to capitalize on that (not to mention decreasing numbers of enforcement and investigators around). The disciples of Gordon Gecko simply played pass the toxic bill till the music stopped playing and the hot potatoe couldn't be hidden anymore.

Then why do I see in the news, businesses and companies that sell goods and services (oil companies are a big target) are routinely hammered for higher prices and demands that they are too expensive and costly, but much less the same thing being said about student loans? It is more prevalent now than it used to be. I'm seeing more anger at the loans, but aside from just getting more loans, I am seeing next to nothing about why the costs are being raised so high and fast, and why don't the collages and universities find ways to cut the cost.

I'd like to see how costs could be lessened. Most educators I know haven't seen a pay raise worth noting in years, and in absolute values they make less than they did before. Money costs outside the higher education field continue to go up. Books have continued to bloat in costs as the publishers look on it as a 'captive audience' and constantly 'updating' books to maximize their prices. Add in outside costs like utilities, upkeep and general costs going up not to mention they have to expand/upgrade/update the campus. How much does a university pay a year in software licenses alone? (I had a friend who got burned by one company who sold his IT department something like 1200 licenses, then dropped support of that anti-virus program for it's successor before the year was out.)

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Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2011, 01:06:42 PM »
Then why do I see in the news, businesses and companies that sell goods and services (oil companies are a big target) are routinely hammered for higher prices and demands that they are too expensive and costly, but much less the same thing being said about student loans? It is more prevalent now than it used to be. I'm seeing more anger at the loans, but aside from just getting more loans, I am seeing next to nothing about why the costs are being raised so high and fast, and why don't the collages and universities find ways to cut the cost.

Just to quickly answer this question, it depends on your social circle. I hear complaints about the high prices of fees, books, and other college costs regularly. Almost all of my friends are at least $40k in debt. But that's because I am a college student, and I am surrounded by college students day in and day out. My parents have three children currently in college, so they talk about. Their peers who also have children in college talk about it with one another. It's been on the news, too, especially when the Department of Ed launched their college cost comparison site this past summer.

As far as why costs are shooting up while quality is not necessarily improving, I'm not sure I can comment about the specifics. It's such a broad and complicated issue. However, I can tell you that the chancellor on this campus makes 300k a year and has a house that's paid for by the state. She has a roomy sedan paid for by the state, and she is driven around in her roomy sedan by a driver who is on the state payroll. The university started charging a parking fee to all students a couple years here, for lots that were already built and have not been improved - lots that don't even have a hope of accommodating the expanding student population here. I pay hundreds of dollars per semester in lab fees, even when I don't have labs that semester, in order to work in labs with 20- and 30-year old equipment. If someone were to ask me where my fees and tuition were going, I couldn't tell them. All I can tell you is where they're not going.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2011, 03:13:23 PM »
Part of the problem was the government basically telling the banks that they -had- to make loans to people they knew would have a high chance of defaulting. In that I cannot blame the banks for getting ride of those loans ASAP.   It wasn't a matter of banks being that greedy that they'd take money from anyone, although greed does factor into it, but from governmental regulations forcing banks to make bad loans.

I'm pretty sure this claim has been debunked already on this forum. The subprime loan scam started long before 2004. Even then, $400 billion does not explain $20 trillion worth of insolvency.

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Then why do I see in the news, businesses and companies that sell goods and services (oil companies are a big target) are routinely hammered for higher prices and demands that they are too expensive and costly, but much less the same thing being said about student loans? It is more prevalent now than it used to be. I'm seeing more anger at the loans, but aside from just getting more loans, I am seeing next to nothing about why the costs are being raised so high and fast, and why don't the collages and universities find ways to cut the cost.

It certainly deserves explanation. But I'm not sure where you think complaints about college prices are new. It's been going on for decades.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #31 on: November 01, 2011, 05:53:17 PM »
You know.. once upon a time, it used to be a good way to combine tax write offs to give companies credit for donating materials to schools and investing in R&D. How much of the technology you use in the PCs that you're reading this post on got their start in the research movement of the 50s, 60s and 70s into small transistors and early integrated circuitry?

American innovative measures stalled sometime after the corporate tax break for R&D went away in the late 70s.

I say we start encouraging reinvestment in our education system rather than hiding cash overseas. Give tax breaks to corporate investment into R&D and Education donations rather than giving GE (for example) tax breaks for find ways to hide money overseas. Bring our money home and encourage US Corps to look into reinvesting in the country rather than milking the system the way they do now.

Offline Noelle

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #32 on: November 01, 2011, 06:37:32 PM »
Since I'm not making such a comparision, this is not a function of my argument. I used "More in common with" in terms of socioeconomic status. How much money they make. The fact that they meet, in most cases rather regularly. That they deal with many of the same companies and organizations, though the latter is less true of Libya than the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt.

This is still incredibly weak and still lacks support that I've asked for. You keep dodging with vague terminology and vague quantifiers. "same companies and organizations" -- okay, who? And what has been the direct result of that? Are there any atrocious acts that have come from those deals, or are we grasping at connections here? Besides that, wouldn't the companies they deal with be more of a concern to you as opposed to a direct fault of one of our presidents for necessarily dealing with them? Again -- simply linking the people they have in common Venn diagram-style is really not making a point. It sounds a bit like a Glenn Beck teaching moment.

You still haven't demonstrated tangible evidence of A) solid links and B) their direct repercussions.

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Of course, killing innocents in other countries doesn't count, apparently. Most US presidents have some innocent blood on their hands, from Washington burning innocent villages, to the Trail of Tears, to the Spanish-American War, to the founding of the term 'Banana Republic', to the excessive sanctions on Iraq, and now we have predator drone assassinations where up to thirty innocents dying is 'okay'. If you're going to talk about mass murder, why don't those atrocities count? Because it's 'warfare'?

You are lumping quite a few different situations together under the same umbrella. Nobody here is arguing that any amount of death is 'okay', but it's dishonest to pretend that all casualties of war are weighed equally and mean the same thing and came about under the same circumstances. It's dishonest to say that ordering your military on your own protesting civilians is exactly the same as ordering NATO to assist in liberating a country and then accidentally catching civilians in a drone strike. Are some deaths unfair? Sure they are, and we should always take steps to reduce those numbers, but I would be surprised to ever see them go down to zero so long as there are wars in the world. War is inherently unfair - nobody has to win. Even so, if I can just refer back to your first quotation up there, if you're not directly comparing the actions of the two, then none of this is relevant to what we're talking about anyway and there is no need for either of us to talk about it - so either it is or isn't relevant, you need to decide.

Interestingly, you previously insinuated that presidents who were around before the last 20-30 years or so were apparently "more in touch" with "the American people". You seemed to insinuate that those presidents were somehow better, and yet you are citing incidences from eras like those of the Spanish-American War? This is really starting to get off-topic, I think.

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It's really the same problem. They don't count because you don't know them. You don't know their struggles, their reasons, their loves, their joy and sadness. To you, they are a statistic.

I don't really care to debate against blatant appeals to emotion, thank you.

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Here's an interesting challenge. Find me someone in Obama's social circle who has been unemployed and looking for work for more than a year. Or even a month. Then do the same for Mubarak before his ousting. Or the CEO of any major corporation.

You know this isn't proof - this isn't even good research. This is actually kind of intellectually lazy as far as that goes. I do, however, have an interesting and relevant link to this in just a moment, at any rate.

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For all I hear about Sarkozy and Chirac, the impression I get is yes, they do form close friendships with many other world leaders, with a few exceptions.

"The impression" you get. That's not evidence, that's you surmising much as you have been. It's not to say that I automatically doubt everything you say, but it is difficult to intelligently reason when you have yet to provide evidence for any of your biggest claims, which is kind of frustrating. I'm telling you directly the kinds of things that would help convince me of your point - offer me unbiased, well-researched evidence from reputable sources, not self-made thought experiments or things that you've guessed. If you don't have any or don't want to go look, then it'd be great if you'd tell me that, too.

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Why aren't jobs a priority in this country? It's American's number one request. But that isn't getting heard, somehow.

Why?

They do not personally encounter the problem of joblessness. They don't know homeless people. They don't know people who risk homelessness. The people who know these people aren't a majority of those who make decisions for this country, or other countries.

Or we have a deadlocked, impotent Congress. Or we have an idiotic population who continually votes in the same people over and over again and refuses to get behind an actual intellectual. Or we have a population who, even if given the chance, would still probably elect a total dunce because we believe in the inherent "wisdom" of the common man rather than people who are educated in relevant areas. Or we have a president who just tried to implement a job creation plan that got effectively skullfucked by the GOP. Or we have been struggling to create more jobs, but the economy is stalling because consumer confidence has a lot to do with which direction things go. Or we are still stuck under the idea of trickle-down economics.

President Obama has apparently written personal checks and done favors to average people before. Is that close enough to your idea of a social circle, by whatever vague definition? You're eager to assert your conclusion as the One Thing, but there are a thousand other factors happening at the same time and, curiously, signs that directly contradict you.

Edit: In the same vein of your comparison, you said they were "similar" but never said how. If you're also claiming that they aren't alike in the sense that you can liken them as mass murderers that oppress their population, then your entire point of bringing up things like the Trail of Tears and co. is, as I mentioned, moot. Either you're comparing them at that level or you're not.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 07:04:56 PM by Noelle »

Offline elone

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2011, 01:00:36 AM »
The solution to bad government lies in our Declaration of Independence.

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

Just a thought, we may be getting there, slowly but surely.

Offline adeleturner

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2011, 08:01:15 PM »
I mentioned to a friend that I didn't really know what it was that the OWS people were all about and he invited me to a local Occupy Movement (I guess that's what they are called) that was marching from the college campus to a Bank of America.  There were only about twenty people there, and I got into a few constructive discussions.  I don't know how representative these people were, but the didn't seem to be aware of the existence of inflation (one honestly proposed raising the minimum wage to $25 per hour), or the fact that the economy is not a zero-sum game.  After a few hours, and a wonderful conversation about corporate personhood, a guy showed up in a Che Guevara shirt.  I lost my ability to debate maturely.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2011, 09:14:50 PM »
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57317400/1-in-15-americans-now-rank-as-poorest-poor/

Here is the real issue most of these protestors to most of we who are poor, have it good in comparison. For all the protesting and whining they seem to overlook a clear fact 1 in 15 Americans are living at UNDER HALF the Federal Poverty line and that is stark isn't it. So what good are these protests going to do for this group or those lucky ones in ordinary poverty?



Offline Vekseid

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2011, 12:10:48 AM »
This is still incredibly weak and still lacks support that I've asked for. You keep dodging with vague terminology and vague quantifiers. "same companies and organizations" -- okay, who? And what has been the direct result of that? Are there any atrocious acts that have come from those deals, or are we grasping at connections here? Besides that, wouldn't the companies they deal with be more of a concern to you as opposed to a direct fault of one of our presidents for necessarily dealing with them? Again -- simply linking the people they have in common Venn diagram-style is really not making a point. It sounds a bit like a Glenn Beck teaching moment.

Researching everyone's entire social spheres is not something I have time for. Looking at Mubarak, Mubarak's son Gabal Mubarak worked for Bank of America as an executive. His brother is much more low key and little information is available on him.

Do I need to point out how much banks are a part of Obama's donor base?

That's specific, a broader view is described in the Economist:
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America is increasingly looking like imperial Britain, with dynastic ties proliferating, social circles interlocking, mechanisms of social exclusion strengthening and a gap widening between the people who make the decisions and shape the culture and the vast majority of ordinary working stiffs.

Emphasis added.

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You still haven't demonstrated tangible evidence of A) solid links and B) their direct repercussions.

I have pointed out their direct repercussions. Humans can only keep track of so many relationships, I didn't really think this needed citing, it falls under 'patently obvious' though yes, there have been people who have tried to make more quantitative studies.

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You are lumping quite a few different situations together under the same umbrella. Nobody here is arguing that any amount of death is 'okay', but it's dishonest to pretend that all casualties of war are weighed equally and mean the same thing and came about under the same circumstances. It's dishonest to say that ordering your military on your own protesting civilians is exactly the same as ordering NATO to assist in liberating a country and then accidentally catching civilians in a drone strike.

I can't believe you just walked into an Operation Iraqi Liberation line. How is killing Iraqis for cheap oil better than killing Americans for cheap coal? Claiming it was about liberating the people of Iraq or stopping WMDs was a lie on its face.

If it was about liberation, why are we still there? The Arab Spring did spread to Iraq, you know.

And I was not just referring to combat deaths, but also those deaths due to sanctions.

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Are some deaths unfair? Sure they are, and we should always take steps to reduce those numbers, but I would be surprised to ever see them go down to zero so long as there are wars in the world. War is inherently unfair - nobody has to win. Even so, if I can just refer back to your first quotation up there, if you're not directly comparing the actions of the two, then none of this is relevant to what we're talking about anyway and there is no need for either of us to talk about it - so either it is or isn't relevant, you need to decide.

You seem to have this notion that war is more noble, for some reason. Or at least seem to think that I would agree with it. O.I.F. was nothing but war profiteering.

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Interestingly, you previously insinuated that presidents who were around before the last 20-30 years or so were apparently "more in touch" with "the American people". You seemed to insinuate that those presidents were somehow better, and yet you are citing incidences from eras like those of the Spanish-American War? This is really starting to get off-topic, I think.

I can't believe you'd never heard of this era being described as the new gilded age. I was referring, of course, to FDR, Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ and even Nixon until Lewis Powell's crusade, which is a major part of what OWS is protesting now, even if few, currently, know of the genesis of the class warfare that has been waged on us since before we were born.

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I don't really care to debate against blatant appeals to emotion, thank you.

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It isn't intended to be one. It's a reference to your capacity for multiple concerns as a human being.

You know this isn't proof - this isn't even good research. This is actually kind of intellectually lazy as far as that goes. I do, however, have an interesting and relevant link to this in just a moment, at any rate.

You seem to think that my time is unlimited. No.

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"The impression" you get. That's not evidence, that's you surmising much as you have been. It's not to say that I automatically doubt everything you say, but it is difficult to intelligently reason when you have yet to provide evidence for any of your biggest claims, which is kind of frustrating. I'm telling you directly the kinds of things that would help convince me of your point - offer me unbiased, well-researched evidence from reputable sources, not self-made thought experiments or things that you've guessed. If you don't have any or don't want to go look, then it'd be great if you'd tell me that, too.

It has to do with their treatment of Germany. I tried to find the specific link but couldn't in time. Regardless, it's rather immaterial.

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Or we have a deadlocked, impotent Congress. Or we have an idiotic population who continually votes in the same people over and over again and refuses to get behind an actual intellectual. Or we have a population who, even if given the chance, would still probably elect a total dunce because we believe in the inherent "wisdom" of the common man rather than people who are educated in relevant areas. Or we have a president who just tried to implement a job creation plan that got effectively skullfucked by the GOP. Or we have been struggling to create more jobs, but the economy is stalling because consumer confidence has a lot to do with which direction things go. Or we are still stuck under the idea of trickle-down economics.

Or Obama filled his economic team with people who already bought Austrian and Freshwater bullshit, whose claim to economic experience, save for Volcker, is rather suspect. There are others who have made far more accurate predictions than his team, hell, even Geithner a decade ago would be a better pick. He knew exactly what was going to happen in Japan, but when the same thing turns up in the US, he doesn't facilitate the solutions he proposed then. I'd love to know what chopped his balls off.

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President Obama has apparently written personal checks and done favors to average people before. Is that close enough to your idea of a social circle, by whatever vague definition? You're eager to assert your conclusion as the One Thing, but there are a thousand other factors happening at the same time and, curiously, signs that directly contradict you.

I even know someone who had a phone conversation with him. I also knew people who have talked to Bob Dole and have a relative who met Clinton. The common impression has always been that they're warm people, but try to get elected without that.

That doesn't change the fact that something caused Obama to put Larry Summers (who helped to cause the economic crisis by backing bank deregulation) and Jason Furman on his team.

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Edit: In the same vein of your comparison, you said they were "similar" but never said how. If you're also claiming that they aren't alike in the sense that you can liken them as mass murderers that oppress their population, then your entire point of bringing up things like the Trail of Tears and co. is, as I mentioned, moot. Either you're comparing them at that level or you're not.

It's more that it's easier to research the deaths a president has been party to than their actual social circle.

I mentioned to a friend that I didn't really know what it was that the OWS people were all about and he invited me to a local Occupy Movement (I guess that's what they are called) that was marching from the college campus to a Bank of America.  There were only about twenty people there, and I got into a few constructive discussions.  I don't know how representative these people were, but the didn't seem to be aware of the existence of inflation (one honestly proposed raising the minimum wage to $25 per hour), or the fact that the economy is not a zero-sum game.  After a few hours, and a wonderful conversation about corporate personhood, a guy showed up in a Che Guevara shirt.  I lost my ability to debate maturely.

I find the notion that inflation is some evil that has to be avoided at all costs is even worse, at this point in this country. Ideally, you want inflation to reflect the general depreciation of goods, so that people are both willing to part with their goods, meaning inflation is not so high as to sabotage faith in the currency as a medium of trade, and that people are willing to part with their currency, meaning that inflation is not so low - or even deflationary - that people hold on to their money out of the belief that it will appreciate in value. This latter case becomes self-perpetuating - the more money is held, the less money is in circulation, causing still more deflation.

The economy may not be a zero-sum game, but there can be zero sum-like situations, even if they are political constructs, and we are in fact in one right now.

An easy way to look at it is, the top 5% of the population earns 30% of the income and spends 15% of the money (I think the actual numbers were 28% and 14.3 - whatever). This means, that without any sort of growth, taxation, or reinvestment, or other redistributing mechanism, 15% of the nation's wealth gets transferred from the bottom 95% to the top 5% (actually, it's mostly going from the bottom 99% to the top .1%, with the next .9 about where they should be).

This isn't sustainable - eventually, the 'poor' don't have money to spend, anymore - this is what actually caused the crash. Around ~2006, the savings rate went negative, and basically the economy figured it out not too much later. People stopped spending because they couldn't, and things grind to a halt, causing more people to get laid off, as the wealthy aren't spending their money at the same rate.

None of this was, or is getting addressed in our current political apparatus. Until it is, or until something happens to convince those who have money to invest it en masse, it isn't going to be fixed.

Offline elone

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2011, 12:50:41 AM »

This isn't sustainable - eventually, the 'poor' don't have money to spend, anymore - this is what actually caused the crash. Around ~2006, the savings rate went negative, and basically the economy figured it out not too much later. People stopped spending because they couldn't, and things grind to a halt, causing more people to get laid off, as the wealthy aren't spending their money at the same rate.

None of this was, or is getting addressed in our current political apparatus. Until it is, or until something happens to convince those who have money to invest it en masse, it isn't going to be fixed.

I have to agree completely on this part. It seems like we are in a downward spiral. The sad part is that when people have no money to buy goods, jobs are lost and wages are stagnated or lowered adding to the inability to buy goods. In addition, prices for many good are rising: groceries, utilities, and taxes in the form of fees. None of these have any effect on the wealthy but push the middle class to poverty. Unfortunately, much of the middle class was built on manufacturing and those jobs are gone and will never return. The US, even with great productivity cannot compete with nations that have slave wages when it comes to manufacturing jobs that were once staples in our society.

I see no reason for the wealthy to invest. What will they invest in that will bring back work to the middle class? They can sit comfortably on their money for quite some time. Corporations and banks are only interested in their bottom line, and as long as they can take jobs out of this country and make money doing so they will continue. As long as banks get free money from the fed, they will put it where they can make more money. That doesn't include lending to risky small businesses and start ups.

We will soon become a nation of haves and have nots, if we are not there already.

Offline Noelle

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2011, 06:09:52 PM »
Researching everyone's entire social spheres is not something I have time for. Looking at Mubarak, Mubarak's son Gabal Mubarak worked for Bank of America as an executive. His brother is much more low key and little information is available on him.

Do I need to point out how much banks are a part of Obama's donor base?

You don't have time, but you're awfully comfortable referencing it as if it's some kind of well-established fact, when clearly it's not. Your research is a couple of anecdotes that happen to fit your narrative in the very broadest of senses, but ultimately fails to coherently link the two together. Did you read your link about Gamal Mubarak? It starts out like this:

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After Hosni Mubarak’s younger son, Gamal, left his job as an executive with Bank of America in London in the mid-1990s

So no, you don't need to point out that banks contributed to Obama's political fund, but it would be nice if you could point out how the link you provided is relevant to that, considering Gamal's job with Bank of America happened neither in the correct country nor timeframe as Obama's candidacy.

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I have pointed out their direct repercussions. Humans can only keep track of so many relationships, I didn't really think this needed citing, it falls under 'patently obvious' though yes, there have been people who have tried to make more quantitative studies.

A lot of things you are claiming to be 'patently obvious' really aren't. Quote to me where you provided evidence of this whole nefarious "social circle" being real and tangible, as well as where you have successfully demonstrated its repercussions. I've asked you in nearly every post now to offer your sources and only in the last post have you done so. If I'm missing something, feel free to let me know what I've overlooked and I'd be happy to give it a proper look.

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I can't believe you just walked into an Operation Iraqi Liberation line. How is killing Iraqis for cheap oil better than killing Americans for cheap coal? Claiming it was about liberating the people of Iraq or stopping WMDs was a lie on its face.

Except that's not what I was referencing at all. I was referencing NATO's involvement in Libya where there was recently some investigation into claims of civilian deaths, especially so because Gaddhafi's regime were reportedly releasing false reports of civilian deaths by NATO to try and sway support.

I would also appreciate if you could cut back on the "this is obvious" and "I can't believe you think..." hyperbolic language. I'm sure it's not your intent, but it's coming across as incredibly condescending and uncivil.

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You seem to think that my time is unlimited. No.

No, I "seem to think" that you are able to provide relevant research and examples when it's asked for, or let me know if you can't or won't. It's the same that would be expected of anyone else I debate with. Your example was inaccurate and I called it out as being inaccurate. If you don't have time, as you keep repeatedly bringing up here, then please don't engage in debate to this level, as it then becomes disrespectful to me and a waste of my limited time. Regardless, I will explain to you why it is inaccurate.

Your quote:

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Here's an interesting challenge. Find me someone in Obama's social circle who has been unemployed and looking for work for more than a year. Or even a month. Then do the same for Mubarak before his ousting. Or the CEO of any major corporation.

This is little more than a Kevin Bacon-style assessment and not one that can be accurately completed, at that, considering I do not know who Obama knows any more than you've demonstrated that you do. Even if it could (or couldn't) be successfully linked, what relevance does it have? Does not knowing someone who has been employed for a long time mean you are incapable of making legislation that benefits those who are unemployed? Similarly, if you do know someone who has been unemployed long-term, is there a proven guarantee that you will legislate to benefit them? And if so, how is that any better than those who legislate to their own interests, such as big business? Sure, the cause might be more noble, but a puppet is still a puppet and it's hypocritical to give it a pass just because they're a puppet for your team. We should be encouraging legislation based on what will make and keep our country successful and happy in the long-term rather than who can yell the loudest or what will fix things as fast as possible regardless of how shoddy the patch job.

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It's more that it's easier to research the deaths a president has been party to than their actual social circle.

Then I assert again that the idea of a social circle is incredibly unreliable and borderline conspiratorial and I'm not sure why it's being thrown around here like it's such a sure thing.

Yes, there are certainly some shady characters in Obama's team, but the thing is, we don't know why. Jumping to the conclusion or just stringing together anecdotes to prove that it's because of X or Y corruption or Z conspiracy is a fallacy, there's really no other way around it. It's an argument from ignorance. We can sit and speculate that it's possible or even probable that X or Y is going on based on certain actions, but there is no way I would bank on the idea of Obama being equatable at any serious level to Mubarak and I have yet to see convincing evidence (not anecdote) otherwise. You simply can't stress the idea of a social circle and then turn around and say you can't research it.

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Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2011, 06:20:26 PM »
Okay.

So the wall-of-text war needs to stop, because it is going around in circles at this point*. So you guys have two options: engage with each other in PM, or start a dialogue. Either way, please take a step back from the topic, take a breath, and have a latte.

Thank you very much.

* As an uninvolved party, it honestly looks to me like it has evolved into a debate over who is better able to find a bunch of links and then demand more links from the other person, although I know that the two of you don't mean it that way.